I need some opinions...
I'm just starting up a 46 gallon with 62lbs of cured live rock. I had
intended to cycle my QT and have my first fish quarantined while my main tank was cycling. Due to adding waaaaay tooooo much shrimp and spiking my ammonia too high in my QT, that cycle is really slow. The QT is now 0 ammonia/5-6ppm nitrite/30+ppm
nitrate and the diatoms have showed up! Think I'm near the end on that one.
Last weekend I put the CURED live rock in my 46 gallon and started that up. Due to my bad shrimp experience with my QT, and the fact that the LR
is cured, I decided to throw in just a bit of pellet fish food to the main to feed whatever bacteria is already on the rock. I expected to see some ammonia/nitrite show up, but nothing so far. BUT, my nitrates are up to around 10ppm and diatoms showed up this afternoon like crazy! All water parameters were at 0ppm before the live rock went in.
Now the questions...
1. With the quantity of cured live rock in there, am I cycled already? Seems like it since I threw in some fish food and now have some detectable nitrates and diatoms.
2. If I am cycled, or nearing the end, it looks like my main will be done before my QT is cycled! If that's the case, should I just put my first fish (O. Clown) in the main instead of the QT so I don't have to "feed" an empty tank for a month? I know that if I come down with ich, I'll have to put the fish in the QT anyway, and let the main sit empty for 6 weeks. But it seems like if I put the fish in the QT (whenever it decided it's done!) I'll have the main sit empty for 4+ weeks anyway. I'm sittin' on the fence and can't decide!
The diatoms surprised me today. They showed up way earlier than I thought. A nice surprise as I was coming home with my bottle of "Aiptasia Control" for the two little buggers that have sprouted up only 4 days after the live rock went in. I can not believe the things that stay alive on this rock after all it goes through! Truly amazing.
Thanks in advance,